At the heart of all research into family history are the records found in the England & Wales Birth, Marriage and Deaths indexes. And our records spanning 1837 – 2005 provide the most complete resource available online.
And not only are all the records completely name searchable they’re also easy to use - there’s now no need to trawl through individual index pages yourself. Simply put in your ancestor’s details – name, place of birth etc. Remember, the more detail you put in, the more relevant your results will be. You’ll get the most relevant matches at the top of the results, so you’ll find locating your ancestors is much faster.
We have six collections covering the period 1837 – 2005 so make sure you’re searching in the right place.
For records between 1837 and 1915, search the transcribed FreeBMD collections (an ongoing project to provide Civil Registration indexes free on the internet). For dates after 1915, search our collections.
It couldn’t be easier – just decide which collection is most relevant to you – click on the link and start searching.
Once you have found your ancestor’s record, make sure you collect all the information about them by ordering a Birth, Marriage or Death certificate (BMD certificate).
Our certificate ordering service is fast, easy and convenient to use. Once you have found the record you need, simply click on the shopping basket under the heading ‘Order record’. The order form will be automatically completed with the certificate details and it’ll be delivered to you within six days (by selecting Express delivery service).
Civil Registration of these vital events began in 1837, at the dawn of the Victorian era and has continued to this day. Birth, Marriage and Death certificates are Public Records and are available to anyone to order, but how do we find them? The answer is to use the General Register Office’s indices (known to genealogists of a certain age as "St Cath’s indexes"). Using the indices you can find an event, order the certificate and take your research back another stage.
In 1998 a charitable organisation called "FreeBMD" began a volunteer-driven project to transcribe these records and make them available to all, for free, on the internet. Previously, to find the record you wanted you had to go to a record office, library or LDS Family History Centre and trawl through miles of microfilm in order to find the record you were so desperately looking for. We began sponsoring FreeBMD in 2001 and as the project gained momentum, more and more records have been made available to search for free; both on FreeBMD and with us.
The "FreeBMD Index" concentrates on 19th and early 20th century records, but the need to search later on in the 1900’s to confirm the facts of any birth, marriage or death presented a problem. Although we (and other web sites) had all of the later index images available online, they weren’t searchable by individual name. Instead the user was presented with, (depending upon how common the surname) a vast number of pages where that individual name might possibly appear. This meant the search was often time-consuming and tedious, in much the same way as a good old fashioned microfilm-trawl was.
So we’ve taken the bold step of commissioning an "every name" transcript of all GRO indexes from 1916 – 2005. The transcribed Birth index took 400,000 man-hours (that’s 187 years!) to transcribe and has added almost 62.8 million extra records to the 71 million already made available through the partnership with FreeBMD. And this is the only place online where they’re available all in one place and fully searchable by name.